Britt-Marie Was Here — Fredrik Backman

Read Date: July 15, 2019
Rating: 4/5
Format: Print book/Audiobook

“At a certain age almost all the questions a person asks him or herself are really just about one thing: how should you live your life?” 

When 63-year-old Britt-Marie walks out on her cheating husband, she is faced with a curious situation with which she has never before been confronted: she has to make it on her own. She needs somewhere to live, somewhere to work, all the bells and whistles one needs to take care of oneself. Incredibly particular, our Emily Post-esque protagonist gets swept into the town of Borg, which Backman expertly details in a manner reminiscent of a Scandinavian version of Alice’s Wonderland. Britt-Marie finds a job, she falls in love, her husband shows up, she steps outside of her comfort zone…. her experiences run the gamut.

What makes Britt-Marie Was Here so special is Backman’s– or a translator’s?– beautifully descriptive text. One can clearly picture Borg, the makeshift soccer pitch, the unemployment office, you name it; his detail is equally enchanting with his characters as it is with his settings. He is so skilled at defining a character clearly and lyrically, allowing the reader to really invest in that character’s decisions, dilemmas, etc. 

This is the third novel I’ve read by Backman and he is swiftly climbing the ranks to become one of my favorite authors. I always appreciate the quirky and precise worlds he builds and the way his characters inspire the reader to evaluate his or her own life and choices and personal quirks. 

Find Britt-Marie Was Here here or, as always, at your local library! Happy Reading 🙂

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